James Gordon Bio

James Gordon has been there. He’s done that. He has had a remarkably diverse and resilient career in the Canadian cultural sector. As a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, he’s recorded 40 albums and toured relentlessly around the world. He’s written for symphony orchestras, musical theatre and dance works, scored films, and for more than ten years was heard on CBC radio as songwriter-in-residence for the ’Basic Black’ and ‘Ontario Morning’ programs. Between tours, James is a record producer, playwright, community activist, theatre director and currently has a part-time ‘side hustle’ as a Guelph City Councillor. These days he’s perhaps known as the composer of the viral internet hit “Crybabies Caravan”, about the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Ottawa. It’s received more than 300,000 views and stimulated a lot of inspiring discussion. 

            His songwriting-in-the-schools program “Rhyme Capsules” has brought him all over the world, creating songs with students of all ages, and it earned him a place of honour on the “Wall of Fame” in Guelph’s Youth Music Centre. 

His song ’Mining For Gold’ was featured in the John Sayles film ‘Silver City’, and was included on the classic Cowboy Junkies album ‘The Trinity Sessions’. Gordon’s iconic ‘Frobisher Bay’ has been recorded by more than 100 different acts world-wide, has become a standard in choirs everywhere, and is in ‘Rise Again’, the sequel to the legendary ‘Rise Up Singing’ songbook. Well known for his songs about social justice, heritage and environmental issues, he recently concluded a covid-safe virtual tour of his 6th full-length play ‘James Gordon’s Emergency Climate Musical’. 

            His last album, ‘The Heritage Hall Sessions’ on Borealis Records charted internationally in the roots, singer-songwriter, and Americana categories. His newest album “When I Stayed Home” is just out, as is his unique ‘musical novel’ “The Ark Of The Oven Mitt” which includes a downloadable recording of 36 original songs that move the plot along. The book is a finalist in the Stephen Leacock Humour Medal competition, with the winner chosen in September.Jamesgordon.ca james@jamesgordon.ca